If you needed any reminder that airlines are operating in a different world now, look no further than the recent auction of paintings and artwork collected by Alitalia in the 1950s and 1960s at Rome’s Finarte Casa d’Aste auction house. The collection, comprising around 200 pieces, was hung in its lounges and VIP facilities to illustrate Italian art. The auction raised €1.2 million. The sad sign of the times, of course, is that the proceeds are being used by Augusto Fantozi, administrator of the old Alitalia (the bits that were left behind after the CAI Italian investor group acquired prime assets to relaunch the operation earlier this year), to help pay the former operation’s creditors. It might just be me, but I can’t help thinking €1.2 million worth of pictures does kind of give a clue about why the airline struggled to make any money in the first place.
Alitalia: Art for art’s sake; money for God’s sake
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